Zubiri urges Executive to take action after China’s water cannon attack
MANILA, Philippines — Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri urged the Executive Department to take necessary steps to assert the country’s sovereign rights over its territory after China’s Coast Guard blocked and fired a water cannon at a Philippine Coast Guard vessel bound for Ayungin Shoal in the West Philippine Sea on Saturday, August 5.
“[In] the search for better strategies, I urge the Executive to run the point, using all viable tools at its disposal, such as a possible joint patrol over the West Philippine Sea with our allies, and the ones we have enumerated in our resolution,” said Zubiri in his privilege speech, which he delivered in a plenary session Monday.
Senators on August 1 unanimously adopted Senate Resolution (SR) No. 718, condemning China’s continued incursions in the West Philippine Sea.
The measure likewise urges the Department of Foreign Affairs to continue holding a dialogue with China to assert the Philippines’ sovereign rights over its territory.
But if such efforts are continuously ignored by China, and the harassment of our fisherfolk, Navy, and Coast Guard persists, the Department of Foreign Affairs is further urged to pursue the following courses of action:
- Bring international attention to China’s harassment of Filipino fishermen and its continued violation of the Hague Ruling
- Utilize international fora to rally multilateral support for the enforcement of the Hague Ruling and raise awareness on the real situation in the West Philippine Sea
- Engage with like-minded countries to call on China to respect the Hague Ruling
- File a resolution before the United Nations General Assembly, to call for the cessation of all activities that harass Philippine vessels and violate the Philippines’ established rights in the West Philippine Sea
- Purse other diplomatic modes as the DFA may deem appropriate and necessary
Zubiri, in his privilege speech, likewise criticized China, calling its acts “provocative, illegal, and dangerous.” He stressed that the recent aggression shows China’s diplomatic duplicity.